Aviators Win Comeback Thriller Over Breakers In Home Opener

Ryan Harrison Wins Singles and Doubles to Lead Aviators to 17-14 Victory

The defending Mylan World TeamTennis champion San Diego Aviators staged an incredible comeback on Sunday night to win their home opener at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa with a thrilling 17-14 victory over the Orange County Breakers.

Playing before a capacity crowd of 1,550, the first sellout in franchise history, the Aviators fell behind the Breakers 10-2 after dropping the Mixed Doubles and Women’s Doubles sets by identical 5-1 scores.

In Men’s Doubles, Ryan Harrison, the 2016 WTT Male MVP, and Raven Klaasen sparked San Diego’s comeback as they used strong service returns and excellent net play to defeat Ken Skupski and Teymuraz Gabashvili of the Breakers 5-1.

Following halftime, with the Breakers leading 11-7, Shelby Rogers of the Aviators took on five-time Grand Slam singles champion Maria Sharapova in Women’s Singles. After falling in a tough three-setter to top-seeded Angelique Kerber in the third round at Wimbledon, Rogers looked forward to playing Sharapova, a former No. 1 player in the world.

Rogers, a resident of Charleston, S.C., took advantage of the opportunity and delighted the home crowd with a hard-fought 5-3 victory over Sharapova. With the Breakers holding a slim 14-12 lead, it was time for Men’s Singles in the fifth and final set of the night.

Harrison showed why he is currently ranked No. 40 in the ATP World Tour singles rankings as he played near-perfect tennis in Men’s Singles, scoring a commanding 5-0 victory over Gabashvili to complete the Aviators comeback win.

“We had good energy. We started down early, but we stayed positive. We just went out there one set at a time and tried to put as many games on the board. Even when we were down, the crowd picked us up. It was a really fun atmosphere,” said Harrison. “I’m happy to be back in San Diego and looking forward to try and bring another title.”

The victory was especially sweet for Rogers, who enjoys the Mylan WTT experience. “It’s so great to be back. I was fired up to be competing alongside these amazing people. Last year we really became a family and it’s so nice to have them by my side again,” she said.

TURNING POINT: With the Breakers leading 14-11, late in the fourth set of the evening, Shelby Rogers cracked a perfectly executed down the line forehand winner on set point to win the Women’s Singles set 5-3 over Sharapova and pull the Aviators within two games of the Breakers at 14-12. The victory in Women’s Singles set up Ryan Harrison to complete the comeback in Men’s Singles.

NEXT ON: The Aviators will host former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone and the Springfield Lasers on Tuesday at 7:00pm Pacific at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif. Follow results on WTT.com/scores or www.sandiegoaviators.com. Live streaming of the match can be viewed at: http://www.sandiegoaviators. com/pages/live

About the San Diego Aviators:
The San Diego Aviators, which are owned by local residents Fred Luddy and Jack McGrory, return for their fourth Mylan World TeamTennis season. For the third consecutive year, they will make their home venue at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif. After posting an 8-6 record to finish the 2016 season in first place, the Aviators captured their first Mylan World TeamTennis championship, defeating the Orange County Breakers 25-14 in the Mylan WTT Finals at the historic Forest Hills Stadium at The West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, N.Y.

For additional information on the San Diego Aviators, visit www.sandiegoaviators.com.

About Mylan World TeamTennis:
Mylan World TeamTennis showcases the best in professional tennis with the innovative team format co-founded by Billie Jean King in the 1970s. Recognized as the leader in professional team tennis competition, Mylan WTT features many of the world’s best players competing annually for the King Trophy, the League’s championship trophy named after King.

Since the League’s debut, virtually every major champion of the Open era has played Mylan WTT, including Andre Agassi, Venus and Serena Williams, Pete Sampras, Stefanie Graf, Andy Roddick, Kim Clijsters, Bob and Mike Bryan, Martina Hingis, Maria Sharapova, Lindsay Davenport, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Martina Navratilova, and Chris Evert.

In July 2015, Mylan WTT became the fifth major professional team sports league in the U.S. to reach the 40th season milestone. In 2017, team owners Mark Ein and Fred Luddy acquired majority ownership of the organization. Learn more about the history and league champions of World TeamTennis at http://www.wtt.com/history.

San Diego Aviators 17, Orange County Breakers 14

Mixed Doubles
Ken Skupski / Andreja Klepac (Orange County Breakers) def. Raven Klaasen / Darija Jurak (San Diego Aviators) 5-1

Women’s Doubles
Maria Sharapova / Andreja Klepac (Orange County Breakers) def. Darija Jurak / Shelby Rogers (San Diego Aviators) 5-1

Men’s Doubles
Ryan Harrison / Raven Klaasen (San Diego Aviators) def. Ken Skupski / Teymuraz Gabashvili (Orange County Breakers) 5-1

Women’s Singles
Shelby Rogers (San Diego Aviators) def. Maria Sharapova (Orange County Breakers) 5-3

Men’s Singles
Ryan Harrison (San Diego Aviators) def. Teymuraz Gabashvili (Orange County Breakers) 5-0

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